Closing the Circle (Guardians of the Pattern #6)

Title: Closing the Circle (Guardians of the Pattern #6)
Author: Jaye McKenna
Publisher: Mythe Weaver Press
Release Date: May 8th, 2017
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Paranormal, Dystopian
Page Count: 442
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Series finale…

Slave. Assassin. Bodyguard. Draven has played many roles within the notorious Sapphire Guild, but one man has always controlled his destiny. After the man who shaped his world betrays him, Draven exacts his revenge and flees, pinning all his hopes on a promise of sanctuary made long ago.

Director Cameron Asada is responsible for the safety of every psion affiliated with the Institute for Psionic Research. When a vid-clip of a psion destroying an industrial installation goes viral, the citizens of the Federation demand action. With anti-psion sentiment spreading too fast to contain, the last thing Cam needs is for a dangerous figure from his past to show up, drug-addicted, psi-damaged, and seeking to redeem a reckless promise Cam never should have made.

Sheltering Draven could cost Cam everything he’s worked for, but Cam owes the man his life, and Draven might be just what Cam needs to protect his people from an increasingly hostile government. When it becomes clear that it may take more than a job offer to secure Draven’s trust, Cam finds himself walking a dangerous line as he struggles to reconcile his conflicting loyalties. Can Cam be the man Draven needs? Or is everything he’s worked for destined to go up in flames?

This story literally starts with crash and burn as Draven watches the place he used to consider his home burning to the ground and then crashes in the woods under influence of drugs. Even in that state he recognizes that there is only one place and one person which can keep him safe:

Cameron is not thrilled by the idea. Draven is wanted criminal, an assassin working for drug cartel but he’d made promise to Draven and he was going to keep it.

The writing just flows and the story is remarkably easy to plunge into. A whiff of political intrigue had me glued to the screen. It was surprising how much of characters we get to know in what are opening sequences of the book. The dialogue is sharp and precise, with occasional sly quips.

Apparently Cameron used to be a cop investigating cartel Draven worked for. They have met before and I’m glad I found the series now, otherwise I’d be on tenterhooks waiting for their story.
They are both wary of each other, but they need one another. They saved each other life so there is a bond between them. They inch slowly toward trust but circumstances around them are pushing and pulling them first closer then apart. Their world is going up in flames and Cameron is desperately trying to save what he can.

I’d definitely suggest reading previous books in series because the world building is specific. The book can stand on its own, but it’s better understood as part of the whole.

I was less enamored of the way their relationship started but it does fit into what is not black-and-white but predominately gray world. Both Cameron and Draven are hard people so in a sense it’s a relief they have found something to anchor them. I was glad I didn’t give up on reading because author managed to soften what happened. There is fragile balance between them:I loved how author underlined similarities and differences between them. They have the same core, but their lives were different and as a consequences, they are different men.

Cameron and Draven are not typical heroes: they are reflections in dark mirror.

Their motivations are real and the connection between them has surprising depth.

In an unusual twist, danger Cameron faces is not death: it does bring to mind old saying of fate worse than death. Draven is the one racing to help him. I found it interesting that the reason they are in trouble is because Draven has for the first time in his life, spared someone’s life.

The ending is both emotionally and physically fraught, in keeping with book’s atmosphere.

This is not a story with typical heroes and villains, masterfully blending the two. It reminded me a little of Manna Francis Administration.

Caution: it contains references to substance abuse and non-con

Guardians of the Pattern

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Galley copy of Closing the Circle provided by Author in exchange of an honest review.